During the day, J.R. “Sankarasivam” Jeyaranjan works 40 hours a week as a bank risk manager. At night and on weekends, and during pretty much any spare time he has, Jeyaranjan is president of his Jersey City co-op’s board of directors, a position he has held for the last two years.
For the past two decades, Carol Hodes has been secretary of her board of directors for the Deerwood Farms Homeowners Association in Old Bridge, New Jersey. She said she joined the board because her home she says was her most precious investment, “so I had better do what I could to protect it!”
Deerwood is a small, self-managed board, and over the years the amount of time that Hodes has devoted to the board has varied, depending on what tasks other board members wanted to take on. Presently, her responsibilities include more than just taking minutes at the monthly meeting. She is responsible for all board correspondence, newsletters, and dealing with attorneys, banks, and realtors when owners are selling or refinancing. She also keeps the checkbook and pays the bills.
“We do a lot by phone or through informal meetings as well,” says Hodes. “There are stretches when the demands are more hours and others when we are ‘quiet’ and between projects that it occupies very little time.”
Committing to It
If you want to volunteer on your board like Jeyaranjan or Hodes, it’s important to first know that there is a time commitment involved. What that commitment will be depends on your individual board and how much volunteering you want to do and, according to Edward Andron, vice president and director of management for Leebar Management Corp. in New York, what position you want to hold.